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September 27, 2005

Appalling.

WTAE-Pittsburgh Channel 4 TV newscast -- News Writing (EL 227)

We had an assignment on August 31 which included reading an article in the Tribune Review. I came across an article about a family and a dog. Sound newsworthy yet? Well it doesn't get much better. On page seven of The Reporters Notebook, Mark Levin lists some basic steps to follow in writing stories. The author of this article should have definately consulted point number one of Levin's list. "Make sure your story passes the 'who cares' test." This article was not news worthy whatsoever.
The article told of Robert Walters, a man who put his dog out for the night, and woke up without his dog there the next morning. Now I feel sorry for this man and his family, but since when has a lost dog been front page news? I was almost appalled that a professional writer would choose such dull subject matter. The information seemed to be accurate, but he definately did not grasp my attention.
This man claimed that he saw his dog with another man, and based his whole argument on the fact that he thinks he saw his dog.I love animals, dogs in particular, and I know that many dogs look a lot alike. There is absolutley no way to tell if the dog is his. The fact that the owner took this case to court and the judge ruled against his favor supports this. The author claims that the other man did not return his phone call, so he only got quotes from one side. I don't believe that he was biased in any way; I just think that he simply had nothing better to write about.
The author had no main point that he wanted to convey, which therefore led to his lack of an attention getting lead. Although his paragraphs seemed organized enough, as a reader, I was still unclear on the idea or point that he was trying to convey. To be honest, the only reason that I continued to read the article was because I continued to find things that were wrong with it.

Posted by CheraPupi at September 27, 2005 4:53 PM

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